LMAP: What inspired you to become a Les Mills Instructor?
I have always enjoyed dancing, so when I found BODYJAM at the gym it made natural sense for me to try this new form of dancing. I like the connection it enables me to have with people, and it allows me to share my joy of dancing with others; and all of this appeal makes sense, since I am a high school teacher who likes to help and teach others.
LMAP: As a Trainee, did you find having a Mentor helpful?
Yes, 100%! So much so that I went back to the same Mentor for all three of the Les Mills programs I’m certified in. Even though I’ve been teaching now for 12 years, I still welcome feedback from my Mentor because I always want to know how to improve.
Having a Mentor allowed me to be okay with my mistakes and uncertainties. Even whilst teaching, my Mentor had my back by giving me cues to use, ways to move better, and helping to ‘fill in the blanks’ of my chorey. Whilst on stage and shadowing, my Mentor also showed me ways to build an environment for the members.
Having a Mentor provide constructive feedback is very helpful as a new Instructor starting out. Having a Mentor helped me compartmentalise what I was meant to focus on, and that continuous guidance made the overall process easier.
LMAP: How many Mentors did you work with?
I didn’t really want ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’, so I chose to work with one Mentor, mainly for BODYJAM. However, I did attend other BODYJAM classes to see how they were taught, which would then give me different ideas and ways to teach. Ultimately, I did stick with one Mentor, as they were very concise in the mentorship they provided. They also became my friend, which then made the whole experience a lot easier and even more comfortable.
There are no specific words as such but ultimately, the best advice encompasses what I feel that Instructors should create, which is an authentic class. This is achieved by:
- Knowing your chorey
- Knowing your music
- Knowing your class
- Knowing yourself.
All of this makes for an authentic experience for members and participants. My Mentor also encouraged persistence because this authenticity may not happen straight away; you need to work on it and persist in order to achieve it.
LMAP: What do you hope to achieve as a Les Mills Instructor?
Authenticity. That is, the real essence of the program and the real essence of me.
LMAP: What do you love about being a Les Mills Instructor?
I love being challenged, especially with BODYJAM where there are new routines that use current music and current moves. But also, I love the challenge of engaging and motivating members in what I know is a quality program.
LMAP: What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a Les Mills Instructor but does not quite feel ready?
Persistence is key, so I’d still encourage them to do it; however, it must be on their timeline. This is especially true for BODYJAM because if you aren’t ready to commit, you may just end up disappointed. You need to give yourself the best opportunity to succeed, rather than just doing it half-heartedly.